I started writing this post a couple hours ago… on a treadmill at the gym (in my mind). I entered the hallway (ahem, I mean gym) like I usually do – with my eyes anywhere but making contact with my late-night workout comrades. With my sneaky, gym-trained eye, I recognized the slow-moving man on the newly installed elliptical and noticed a new face on the bike. I climbed on the treadmill and set my eyes firmly on the serious twin staring back at me in the mirror as I pumped up the workout jams in my Ipod. I pushed some buttons and then focused my gaze on four miles and a painful finish line.
That’s when I realized something strange was happening on the next treadmill. First of all (from what I could gather in a few “where’s-that-clock-in-here?” glances), he had a snazzy looking dri-fit shirt tucked in at his trim waist to long, black workout pants. He, too, was looking at the mirror, but it was as a movie star would make eyes at himself and say, “Looking good!”
That’s not the strange part.
As I kept rhythm with Trevor Davis and Passion Pit, pounding that stationary track, his movements kept pulling my attention away from my steady beat. I started to catalogue these movements as he repeated them… and then I started to get jealous because his workout was DEFINITELY beating my workout on the creativity scale.
Then I realized two things:
1. This guy was not young, but he possessed the same in-shape charm Patrick Swayze (rest in peace) mysteriously mastered for oh-so-long. He managed movements that looked more like a game than the regular tire of a treadmill. With little effort, he seemed to work every muscle group and keep it real with his movie star face.
2. I should take notes.
I kept a straight face, but it was super hard. I just kept to my boring, serious routine… all the while sneaking glances at his different moves. At two miles, I thought I’d seen all he had, but at 4 miles I had to pause Enrique Iglesias and run to the bathroom… where I grabbed a scrap of paper and a pen (providentially stashed away in my purse) and jotted down everything I could remember. So, here are the mostly technical names for Honduran Patrick Swayze’s treadmill workout moves.
- the Hitch – This move was subtle – I felt like I could hear Will Smith saying, “Keep it right here” because his shoulders had the slightest sway and I swear his hips were moving. He wasn’t really walking or jogging, because it was more about his arms.
- bounce-bench – This move had two variations. The first he was kind of speed walking/bouncing while doing kind of a push-up on the bar in front of him. The second he had his hands on the side bars for more push-ups.
- hop-SKIP-kick – This is the initial move that sold me before I saw anything else. This move looked like the dance floor at a wedding feast. So, it was basically just as I’ve named it – a hop, then a skip with the opposite foot, then a kick with the other foot. If it sounds complicated, it certainly is… and I loved it!
- air runner – This was like watching a runner in slow motion. Using the side handles, he would make long strides and jump into the air.
- push it push it – There is a reason I added another “push it” for the name of this move. He put the work level way down on the treadmill, but then he got into a stance like he was pushing a broken car down the road.
- side sweeper – This was one of the surprise moves toward the end of my four miles. He started to swing from left to right while also managing a syncopated rhythm with his feet.
- the boxer – This move definitely required the movie star stare in the mirror as well as some well-placed jabs in the air and the shuffle of his feet, alternating at times to run sideways.
I honestly don’t know how any human being could make a treadmill do what I just saw tonight. And that is why I am convinced this Honduran Patrick Swayze was an angel – a fitness angel that came to spice up my workouts. I credit my mom for my restraint, because I wanted so badly to ask about his techniques.
When he left, the slow-moving man was still plodding along and I didn’t have enough gumption to try anything in front of people. When he finally left, I tried out a few of my own, which I’ve called “ska run” and “ballet toes.”
Thank you, Patrick Swayze’s Honduran angel… my workouts will never be the same!!